I got that tingling sense of anticipation as I looked at my diary and realised there’s now only a week to go until the CIPD Learning & Development Show 2014. I’m hugely excited about it for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I started my career in L&D, before moving into generalist HR. Yes, my first faltering steps along the winding road to Fellowship of the CIPD were taken as I gained D32 and D33 as part of my NVQ Level 4 in Human Resource Development. It seems like a distant memory but at the same time not all that long ago (it’s funny how your mind plays tricks on you about things like this) that I sat down to internally verify my first NVQ portfolios… The exhibitionist side of me used to love the adrenaline rush of standing in front of a room full of expectant people to deliver a training session – over recent years I haven’t had much opportunity to do that and I miss it. In fact, for a variety of reasons L&D hasn’t played much of a role in my recent career and it’s only really with my change of job last year that it has come back into my professional life. So above all I’m looking forward to hearing some fresh thinking that will challenge my (presumably!) outdated ideas and that I can use in my current organisation.
Secondly, it looks like it’s going to be a great opportunity to catch up with some good friends and also to meet some new ones. There’s a great roll call of people from the HR and L&D communities attending and networking is a side of conferences that I have only really discovered as a result of embracing social media. It’s so much easier to strike up a conversation with someone you already know a fair bit about – and you both know you actively want to meet each other for a chat rather than doing the whole tired dance around a business card.
Finally, the CIPD have offered me the opportunity to live tweet and blog my way through the day of the Show that I’ll be attending (Wednesday). I’m particularly looking forward to this as it will force me to try to communicate what I’m picking up at the conference in real time and hopefully pass it on to the many people who would love to be there but can’t. I will do my best to capture the key learning points from my (generalist) perspective and share them – which ultimately will be great for me too as I’ll have all my notes readily available afterwards online!
Having had a sneak peek behind the scenes at the Annual Conference and Exhibition in Manchester, I can’t wait to be part of the great team that the CIPD has assembled for the L&D show: if you can’t be there in person, please join in on Twitter using the hashtag #CIPDLDShow, follow the CIPD’s Tumblr site or just keep an eye on my blog!